Monday 14 January 2013

Altered Review

When you can’t trust yourself, who can you believe?

Everything about Anna’s life is a secret. Her father works for the Branch at the helm of its latest project: monitoring and administering treatments to the four genetically altered boys in the lab below their farmhouse. There’s Nick, Cas, Trev . . . and Sam, who’s stolen Anna’s heart. When the Branch decides it’s time to take the boys, Sam stages an escape, killing the agents sent to retrieve them.

Anna is torn between following Sam or staying behind in the safety of her everyday life. But her father pushes her to flee, making Sam promise to keep her away from the Branch, at all costs. There’s just one problem. Sam and the boys don’t remember anything before living in the lab—not even their true identities.

Now on the run, Anna soon discovers that she and Sam are connected in more ways than either of them expected. And if they’re both going to survive, they must piece together the clues of their past before the Branch catches up to them and steals it all away.

Like most people, I got a little caught up in the many “things to do” over Christmas and New Year and this put a firm hold on my reading activities.  So much so, that I’d gotten out of the habit and was having a hard time getting back into it (which is VERY unlike me, I hasten to add).  A reading/blogging life crisis if you will.  I was desperate and so I decided to pick up a new release in the form of Altered by debut novelist Jennifer Rush.  I mean four hot boys and a smoking hot cover? What’s not to like, right?  What I found was an amazing grab-you-by-the-balls-and-never-let-you-go story with interesting and complex characters, perfect pacing and a book that more than held my interest from start to finish.   THANK GOD.  I could have kissed Jennifer for that as I thought I’d lost my reading mojo there for a second!

Also, can I get a HOORAH for the cover which is not only visually stunning but actually highly appropriate to the story itself (you’ll see why).

Altered is the story as seen through the eyes of Anna, a teenage girl who lives with her scientist father.  Underneath their farmhouse is a laboratory that just so happens to be home to four young men who have been there for five years.  Not only do they have amnesia but they’ve been genetically “altered” as part of an experiment that neither we as the audience nor Anna as the protagonist is privy to.  This is not the typical laboratory set up though and Anna is more like a sister or friend to the boys, often sneaking in after hours to see them.  Oh and she just so happens to be in love with Sam.  The story starts by setting the scene and then before you know it, there’s no more walls separating them and Anna and the boys are on the run to discover who they are and why all of this is happening before the branch catches up with them.   There are many twists and turns along the way and so much more to the story than anyone realises.

In my eyes, this book is perfect in every way.  I really couldn’t find any fault with it at all and that’s rare.  I loved the relationship between Anna and the boys and how they were all individuals in their own right.  Trev is the academic, Cas is the easy going guy who acts first and thinks later, Nick is the surly one and Sam is the strong, silent type.  Naturally I have a soft spot for Sam but you know what makes him so attractive? It’s not his looks or his body but his mind.  He’s extremely intelligent and I find that a definite turn on.  You know what though? I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to know what goes on in that boy’s mind and am hoping that one day we get to find out either from a dual perspective or a short novella (Oh dear God, I would LOVE that).

Anna might be the girl who’s in love with Sam but she also has a strength about her.  She lost her mother at a young age and takes care of the house she shares with her father.  She attends defence classes and has the potential to do some damage if she needed to.  I like the fact that she’s not overly strong though, she’s not a caricature.  She’s just a girl who could easily be you or me.

Altered is an impressive debut novel and I’m ecstatic to find out that there is a sequel planned.  Whilst the story doesn’t end on a cliff hanger (thank Goodness for that) there is definitely MUCH, MUCH more to come and I can’t wait to discover it all.   I can’t recommend this book highly enough.

Altered was published on 2nd January, 2013.  To find out more about Jennifer Rush and her books, please click here to visit her website.  You can also read an excerpt of Altered on her blog.


  1. I first heard of Altered on your WOW feature over the summer. Thank you for featuring the book.
    LOL I couldn't agree more, with ALL of your points:)
    In fact i've written something very similar in the review i've scheduled for next week.
    Great start to what promised to be an action packed, swoon fest of a series.

  2. Wow, this book sounds great. I'll be adding this to my ever growing TBR list.

    Samina @ Escapism from Reality

    1. Oh, it is a great read! Thanks for commenting :)